The emails surrounding the St Michael’s Gate property deal provided by Peterborough City Council in response to a Freedom Of Information request by the Peterborough Telegraph are revealing.
Large sections, and even whole emails, have been redacted or blacked out by the council because it clearly considers them outside the perameters of the FOI request.
However, one thing that was revealed was the conversation between a representative of landlords Stef & Philips and a council officer about the ‘media furore’ and whether it had died down. We can categorically state that the furore - their word not ours - has not died down.
The PT is investigating all aspects of the deal for one simple reason - it is simply not fair on the tenants of St Michael’s Gate who are having to leave their homes in our view.
The deal is not illegal but we believe that it should be closely scrutinised for two reasons. Firstly that the wholesale moving out of large numbers of tenants in this way should be something the Government considers legislating against.
Equally if, as we have been told by senior councillors, the authority did not have any real choice in making the deal because the property owners would have used the housing for other councils’ homeless tenants, that is also something that should be drawn to the government’s attention.
We don’t set out to create a ‘furore’ but we do set out to question the decisions of the council, represent the very real concerns of people having to leave their homes and bring as much information to our readers and the people affected as we can... and we are going to stay on the case.